Start your engines as NASCAR’s 2023 Street Race is coming to town this weekend!
The massive event is taking over the city, but there’s also a handful of incredible summer-centric events and fun things to do throughout Chicago before and after the inaugural race.
From August’s Ducky Derby to summer fireworks at Navy Pier, kayaking adventures down the Chicago River, and the return of Tuesdays on the Terrace and Sundays On State, this summer is sure to be filled with endless fun before the big race comes to town and after.
With over 50,000 people expected to attend the NASCAR Street Race, Chicago’s first-ever street race is sure to be a big spectacle.
The Cup Series Race aptly titled the Grant Park 220, and the Xfinity Series Race named The Loop 121 will take off this weekend, going past Chicago’s incredible landmarks.
Yes, tickets to the event are currently on sale. and the city has been preparing for the high-profile race, announcing road closures ahead of time so Chicago residents can make adjustments navigating the city.
Keep reading for all the information on NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race, from the full course breakdown to planned road closures and more.
Learn all about the expansive race course
The race, which was announced last July, is scheduled for this weekend: July 1-2.
Covering Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, and other surrounding streets, the high-intensity race is sure to be a spectacle to behold.
For Grant Park 220, turn 1 will see drivers taking a left on East Balbo Drive, while Turn 12 will take them from the intersection of Michigan and Jackson and back onto the front straightaway on Colombus Drive. Check out a rendering of the official course!
Gates for both street races and access to NASCAR Village at Butler Field, will all open at 9 am. While this is the first-ever Chicago street race, the city has signed a 3-year partnership deal with NASCAR to host their annual NASCAR Cup Series.
What we know about road closures
Ahead of the major event, the city will experience road closures including significant roadways such as DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Jackson Drive, Balbo Drive, and Michigan Avenue.
NASCAR’s 2-day Chicago Street Race and music festival is scheduled to start this Saturday, July 1, with road closures lasting for several days prior to and after the event concludes according to officials.
The NASCAR Cup Series street course race will take place on July 1-2nd, yet major street closures like Columbus Drive, and Michigan Avenue, along with DuSable Lake Shore Drive began as early as June 2nd.
Keep reading for the full list of closures.
Closures already in place:
- June 2: at 6 a.m. parking restrictions have begun along southbound Columbus Drive, between Jackson and Balbo Drives.
- June 5: Parking restrictions have already begun on northbound Columbus Drive between Jackson and Balbo Drives.
- June 10: Ida B. Wells Drive closes between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, allowing for construction to begin on main viewing areas.
- June 17: Temporary road closures start as track walls are installed.
- June 18-19: Starting at 7 pm., Jackson Drive, Michigan Avenue, and Columbus Drive will enact a temporary closure.
- June 19: Starting at 6 am., a full closure on Balbo Drive from Michigan Avenue to DuSable Lake Shore Drive is planned.
- June 20: A northbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive, from Roosevelt Road to Balbo Drive starting at 6 am. All CTA buses are to be rerouted.
- June 21: Sidewalks will be closed as a northbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Jackson drives starting at 6 am. The corners will still remain open for Buckingham Fountain.
- June 22: Expect a southbound lane closure on Columbus Drive from Balbo Drive to Roosevelt Road starting at 6 am. The Columbus Drive underpass is to remain open but sidewalks will be closed.
- June 23: Southbound lane closure on Columbus Drive from Jackson to Balbo drives.
- June 24: Northbound traffic lane closures on Congress Circle.
- June 25: Columbus Drive will shut down between Jackson Drive and Roosevelt Road starting at 12 a.m.
- June 28: 10 p.m.: DuSable Lake Shore Drive Southbound closes from Randolph Street to McFetridge Drive.
- June 29: Roosevelt Road closes east of Columbus Drive along with Northbound Michigan Avenue.
- June 30: Southbound Michigan Avenue shuts down between Balbo and Jackson Drives.
Upcoming road closures:
- July 1: 4 a.m.: DuSable Lake Shore Drive Northbound closes between McFetridge Drive and Randolph Road, to adjust for safety precautions.
Another issue at hand contends with stalled traffic as event breakdown plans are scheduled to continue into later July, just as other major events take place at Grant Park. According to officials, rerouting information and re-opening timelines can be found on the official event website with a more in-depth look here.
- Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive plans to reopen on July 2. Other roads plan to open back up on July 3rd starting at 7 a.m.
- Racetrack teardown is expected to take multiple days, with full event deconstruction completed by July 15th.
Tickets are now on sale
Even with scheduled street closures, the event is sure to draw a crowd as general admission tickets are flying off the shelves with two-day prices starting at $269.
Reserve your seats, or opt for a suite or a specialty package to complete the experience. Depending on which ticket you opt for, you could also get access to extra events like post-race concerts, and more. NASCAR released its two-day reserved tickets back in November, which start at $465.
The street race will offer an array of seating options from reserved seating to a variety of premium packages. With multiple options offered, there’s something for everyone, whether you sign up for one of the Presidents Paddock Club packages, the Trackside Club packages or a Reserved Seating package.
There’s always an opportunity to attend the race at a price point that works for you! Check out General Admission here.
Additional events surrounding the race
The race will also include a series of extraordinary events like concerts and fan gatherings. With a series of big-name performers set to headline concerts during the two-day event, audience members can expect to see sets from artists like the Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, and Charley Crockett (among others) at the NASCAR Cup Series’ Chicago Street Race from July 1-2.
The first street race in Chicago
The race will be the first of its kind in Chicago and falls in line with something Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategies, said about his initiative to transform the ‘Cup Series’ schedule by adding new, splashy events in major markets. The goal here is to create more races that generate increased fan interest along with removing the same tracks hosting multiple races.
They first tested the idea with an online iRacing event on a 12-turn virtual circuit. The template used for the virtual event started on South Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain.
This initial event created the template officials used to plan the actual physical track. NASCAR has hosted races at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet from 2001-2019, but this will be the first big race in the area since then.